I wish Bailey, Elliot, and Ziggy had been able
to tell me they were rumbly in their tumblys.
I took the boys to the adoption center on Saturday without incident, but also without adoptions. Some kittens were adopted, but not my boys. I'd stayed with them all day and talked to prospective adoptive "parents", took them out of their cages, and held them so everyone could see how loving and laid-back they were. Saturday was not productive, adoption-wise, but it was a decent and calm day.
Sunday was different. I took them back to the adoption center (which is over 20 miles from me) at 10am and they were great on the way up there, but as I was putting them into their cages, Bailey began to fuss with Ziggy. He bit him in the ear and hung on for dear life. I thought he was playing, but Zig was crying, so I separated the two of them. Just when I thought the little fuss was over, Elliot came flying over to Bailey and landed on top of him. Then both started sqawling and hissing. Had we not been in a public place and had I not wanted the boys to be on their very best behaviors, I would have left them alone to settle their differences, but a small group of watchers was gathering. They were laughing at the boys' antics and seemed to be enjoying the show, but I was not amused.
It's not unusual for kittens, expecially growing males, to engage in rough play and even hiss at each other sometimes, so I wasn't alarmed at their actions, just surprised, since I'd never seen them act that way. I think they've simply grown weary of the trips to the center every week and confinement to cages when they've never been caged here. They'd had entirely enough of the game and I was in total agreement, but that was the option I chose for them since the adoptions are closely monitored and follow-up is done to assure people are caring for the animals as they should. I want that assurance.
I couldn't stay with them Sunday, but when I went to get them at 5pm, they were all in bad moods. I had separated Bailey from the other two because he was apparently holding a grudge from Saturday, but one of the volunteers had put him back in with his brothers and that caused all of them to be cranky. They were hissing, spitting, and growling by the time I arrived. Again, I'd never seen any of them act that way. Elliot, who usually greeted me first when I came to get them, had his back turned to me. Those who have cats know being snubbed by a cat is the ultimate insult. When he turns his back and ignores you, it's a sure sign you're on his naughty list.
Bailey jumped into the carrier willingly, and Ziggy went in, but not on his own accord. There sat Elliot in the cage, sulking. I reached back into the cage and picked him up, thinking I'd console him for a minute but I wasn't ready for what happened next. As I pulled him toward me, he reached out and latched onto the adjacent cage, which housed a beautiful but feisty orange male cat named Socks, who didn't like other cats. Socks started hissing and Elliot returned the favor and refused to let go of the cage. I finally extricated him and when I went to put him in the carrier, he bolted from me and jumped onto the floor. We were in a PetSmart adoption facility, and Elliot decided to play hide-and-seek under the shelves while employees and members of the Rescue Me program chased him. I asked them to not chase him and told them he'd come to me if they'd just remain calm. That fell on deaf ears. Finally, a customer cornered him as he jumped onto a display as he was trying to get out of the path of a dog shopping with his people. What an exciting end to the day. Little did I know the excitement had just begun.
I was taking the boys to the car and kept smelling something - thought I'd passed some doggy droppings in the parking lot, but the aroma followed me to the car. As I put the carrier in the back seat, I realized the aroma was coming from my kittens. Ok then....I carry a tote bag full of paper towels, disinfectant, plastic bags, water, and room spray for just such occasions so I climbed into the back seat and cleaned up the problem. I thought that would be the end of it and they'd be fine until we arrived home. That proved to be wishful thinking.
Since I knew they were tired, and they'd been cleaned and freshened, I thought they'd rest while I darted into one store for a few minutes to purchase something I needed. I wasn't in there long, and the boys were warm and cozy. I thought they'd collapse and fall sleep after their weekend ordeal. That also proved to be wishful thinking.
After my brief errand, I opened the car door and was greeted with a much stonger aroma than before. It seemed another kitten had decided he needed to use the litter box and couldn't wait until he arrived home. The three boys must have taken turns rolling in it - or so it appeared. I had turned them loose in the car before I realized the scope of the problem. I cleaned out the carrier again, but this time I ran out of paper towels. I pulled some tissues from the glove box and used all of those as well. The car reeked. We all reeked. Getting the boys back into the carrier was a feat in itself, since they did not want to go in smelling as they did, and I'm sure they did not want to have to smell each other, but I had little choice. They could not remain loose in the car. I drove home in 30-degree weather with one window part-way down, heater blasting, and kittens loudly protesting. Oh what fun it was to ride......reeking all the way, hey!
I called Spouse to warn him we were coming. He greeted us in the garage and exclaimed "You stink!". Well, gee, tell me something I don't know. He gingerly toted the cat carrier upstairs to the bathroom. I gathered old wash cloths and towels bathing the boys and met him in there. All three received baths and smelled so much better afterward. They're happy to be home and clean, and so am I.
We're ready to give the adoption procedure a little break. The boys need the time off and I won't mind it either.